“Hawaii’s First Day Hike ‘ohana and DSP are excited to bring this stirring event back to Kaiwi after the pandemic hiatus. While many other states have more challenging (and colder) hikes to offer on New Year’s Day, few can match Kaiwi for stunning scenery, possibly catching a glimpse of a humpback whale, and participating in a cross-cultural celebration, with the pu heralding the sunrise, a mele oli to shepherd in the new year, and powerful taiko to stir the heart and galvanize our intent for the upcoming year.” – Curt Cottrell, Administrator of the DLNR Division of State Parks.
As one of the best attended First Day Hike events in the country, the trek to the Makapu‘u Overlook for the first sunrise the year is popular with many. The Hawai‘i First Day Hike…a walk really… is along the paved roadway to the summit of Kaiwi State Scenic Shoreline and provides incredible views mauka to makai and has attracted as many as 700 people on previous New Year’s Days. Sunrise is followed a rousing taiko performance of the Taiko Center of the Pacific by students of Sensei Kenny Endo. The DLNR Division of State Parks (DSP) is very grateful for this community partnership for an event that adds cultural elements to the striking natural landscape. The summit viewing platform will be closed before and during sunrise to provide space for the pu, oli and the taiko drummers. It reopens for after the performance. More info: Division of State Parks | Kaiwi State Scenic Shoreline (hawaii.gov)
FIRST DAY HIKE AT KAIWI STATE SCENIC SHORLINE
- Gates to the park open at 5:30 a.m. to give provide ample time to get to the top and in position along the route for the 7:10 a.m. sunrise.
- Staff will arrive in advance to drive up to the summit with drums and performers before hikers start to ascend.
- The paved footpath is one mile each way.
- Flashlights, blanket and warm clothes are encouraged – in addition to darkness Kaiwi can be windy along the route and especially at the summit.
- Parking is limited at the trailhead so overflow vehicles must park along the highway. Carpooling is encouraged.
- Exercise extreme caution when crossing the highway.
- There are no restroom facilities at Kaiwi State Scenic Shoreline, but for this event State Parks will provide portable toilets at the trailhead.
- Please carry out all rubbish and bring poop bags and leashes are required for dogs
- More info: Division of State Parks | KAIWI SCENIC COASTLINE FIRST DAY HIKE RETURNS AFTER COVID HIATUS (hawaii.gov)